Disability Insurance Claim Articles
Is Your Disability Occupationally Disabling?

We often hear something like this from disability claimants: “I don’t get it … all of my medical providers uniformly attest that my ailments are disabling, yet the carrier is still giving me a tough time … what gives?” Well, when I look into the “what gives” part of that, I sometimes find that the carrier is grappling with the mental or physical component of the claimed disability; i.e., debating the findings and / or opinions of the policyholder’s medical providers. But, more often, I find that the carrier is grappling with how the disability compromises the insured’s ability to maintain employment.1 So, what can you do to help quell (or even preempt) the carrier’s concern that your disability does not preclude you from maintaining employment?

First, if your medical provider is capable of relating your mental or physical ailment to functional limitation in normal daily settings (which will often include your employment setting), it would be helpful for him / her to put that somewhere in the medical record. Second, it would behoove you to obtain letters, affidavits, or the like from work colleagues who are familiar with your daily work routine(s) and who can legitimately confirm your diminished productivity and / or comfort level since the date of disability onset. Third, it would be beneficial for you to obtain a written statement from your employer setting forth the duties and responsibilities of your position.

If the functional limitations described by your medical provider(s) do not mesh with the occupational duties and responsibilities described by your employer, that is a good thing when it comes to claim approval. And if your work colleagues are able to back you up on the fact that your functional limitations negatively influence your work productivity and / or ability to perform your work in a pain free manner, that is a good thing when it comes to claim approval. Getting the good things in order during the claim process fosters claim approval.

1 Whether or not your disability precludes you from employment will depend, in part, on whether you have an “any occupation” or “own occupation” disability insurance policy. The difference between an “any occupation” and “own occupation” disability insurance policy, however, is a discussion for another day.


Disability Insurance Claim Articles
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